Membership History

Full Member
Joined 1997

Membership History

Full Member
Joined 1997
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Company Overview

Snap-on Tools is a division of Snap-on Tools Incorporated, which is a $2.9 billion global company. Founded in 1920 with a simple idea that “five would do the work of fifty”, Snap-on expanded to the UK in 1965.

Today Snap-on is a global innovator, manufacturer and distributor of tools, diagnostics and equipment solutions for the professional technician. Product lines include hand and power tools, tool storage, diagnostic software, information and management systems and workshop equipment.

Franchise Overview

Snap-on Tools has over 4,500 franchisees worldwide with over 400 operating within the UK and Ireland. Our territories are geographically drawn giving each franchisee around 220 potential buying customers who are identified and routed into a weekly round before a franchisee starts. This means our franchisees don’t have to cold call.

The Snap-on franchise is a simple model which enables ordinary people to take charge of their own destiny and then through their own efforts go on to be successful and fulfil their dreams.

Training

Snap-on franchisees are assigned a dedicated franchise developer for their first twelve months in business. After two weeks classroom training at our dedicated training school in Dallas, the franchise developer will initially spend 17 days in the first 5 weeks on your mobile store putting the theory into practice. They will then work with you to build and establish your business until such time a sales developer takes over, focusing on long-term business growth and profitability.

Daily Life of a franchisee

A typical day starts at 8am and you will see around 40-50 customers a day; the number of stops will depend on the types of calls you have that day. You will drive your custom-built mobile store to your customers, on the same day, at the same time each week and service their tool requirements. Typically the last call would be at 6pm when the franchisee would go home and finalise the day’s paperwork.

Stewart Maze

Stewart Maze had one thing in mind when he joined the Snap-on franchise network, back in 1992 – to be around more and watch his children grown up. Now, with four grown up children (three of whom have flown the nest) and a successful Snap-on empire to his name, Stewart is finally slowing down and planning an early retirement. There’s just one thing he needs to do first.

“I’ve always said, right from the very beginning, I’d be with Snap-on when their 100th anniversary came around. We’re only a few years away from that now and I’m sure I’ll be celebrating their 100th and my 30th anniversary before retirement calls! Thanks to Snap-on, I’ve gone from working two jobs and seeing my kids for a few hours a week, to working sociable hours and being around to watch my children grow up. I’ve even put three of my four children through university and, after witnessing their dad’s success first hand, I’m sure at least one of them will be following in my footsteps by becoming a Snap-on franchisee.”  

After leaving school, Stewart started a lengthy career working in a garage. Growing up working on his family’s farm in rural Northern Ireland, Stewart was familiar with the hands-on role and spent close to a decade working his way up to Service Manager. A chance conversation with the local Snap-on franchisee left Stewart considering a better way to utilise the skills he’d picked up.

“In all honesty, I’d never even thought about a career with Snap-on. I was happily plodding along, putting in the hours and taking home just enough money to put food on the table. All of the guys in the garage – myself included – used to love it when we got our regular Snap-on visit and so, when the opportunity came up to join the network, I thought ‘why not?’ As well as working in the garage full-time, I’d been working nights as a shopfitter, often only seeing the kids a couple of evenings a week, and surviving on very little sleep. It was a no-brainer. Becoming my own boss was going to offer me far more opportunities than any garage job could. I registered my interest with the Snap-on team and, three months later, I was stood in my very own van, ready to serve customers.”

Snap-on is the world’s number one professional tool brand. They are the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for the professional technician. Franchisees deliver gold-standard, premium products to technicians up and down the country. Their fantastic business opportunity offers you the chance to be your own boss whilst being supported by an elite team of industry specialists.

Stewart’s initial training was so comprehensive that, despite having no prior experience in accounting, marketing or sales, he felt confident in his ability to help his customers across South Antrim, South Tyrone and County Armagh.

Back in the early nineties, Stewart’s training was completed locally but fast-forward to 2018, and training now starts with a trip to Snap-on’s UK head office in Kettering. New franchisees meet the staff who will support them on a daily basis and collect their very own custom-built mobile store as they are welcomed into the Snap-on family!

Afterwards, new recruits jet off for a week of classroom-style training in Dallas in the US. Once back home, training continues with a full week of on-van support out in the field. New franchisees are paired with a dedicated franchise developer for the first 12 months who spends another 12 days on the road offering one-to-one support within the first five weeks.

Like so many who join a franchise, Stewart borrowed money from family to fund the purchase of his business. For anyone choosing to join the network today, Snap-on go above and beyond to help with start-up costs and offer a one-of-a-kind ‘help to buy’ scheme through their in-house bank, Snap-on Finance. This fully regulated finance house eliminates the need for the High-Street banks, offering business loans to successful candidates. And after all, who better to invest in your franchise with you than your franchisor?

For two and a half decades, Stewart’s dedication to his business has resulted in an endless list of achievements under his belt. Never one to rest on his laurels, Stewart is proof that hard work pays off as he celebrated his best ever financial year in 2017!

“In all honesty, I couldn’t pick one highlight in my 25 years with the company. I’ve expanded the business, more than once, and one of the guys I recruited to work with me has since gone on to start his own franchise. 2017 was my best year on record, increasing sales by 30% on the previous year, and I’ve even been crowned ‘Top Franchisee,’ for my region four years in a row. I’ve made some incredible friends – I was even a guest at a customer’s daughter’s wedding last year. She was a new-born baby when I first joined Snap-on!”  

“I’m a proud member of the Snap-on network – lots of the other franchisees come to me for advice on how to run a successful business. When I finally get around to retiring, I’ll know that this has all meant something. I’d be over the moon if one of my boys decided to take over the business. One of my sons travels the world, working on rally cars and using Snap-on tools – Snap-on would be the perfect option for him, once he decides to settle down.” 

The Maze family live and breathe motorsports, rally cars and Snap-on tools, with Stewart’s hobbies including watching motorsport and mountain bike riding. Stewart’s youngest son – who grew up helping his Dad load his beloved Snap-on van! – can often be found tinkering with an engine or two at the family’s home in County Antrim. Even Stewart’s wife gets in on the Snap-on action!

“My wife has been so important in the success of the business. She is so supportive and even helps with the accounts from time to time. If you were to ask her if we’d do this all again, she’d probably say no! All joking aside, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Snap-on has afforded me a wonderful life with my family, a real career and the chance to prepare for an early retirement. The tools are so incredibly well made and sought after, that they almost sell themselves and, from a business perspective, the support and guidance on offer from the Snap-on team is second to none. The entire operation is a well-oiled machine and I’m incredibly proud to call myself a Snap-on man.”

Philip Sanson

Imagine being made redundant after more than 18 years and having to start all over again. For ex-mechanic Philip Sanson, that nightmare became a reality. But that was more than 20 years ago, and he’s been running his hugely successful Snap-on franchise in South Bradford since 1995. Looking back, his redundancy turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to him.

In fact, thanks to his success so far, Phil is mortgage free, a self-confessed holiday addict and just a few years ago, invested in a brand new, state-of-the-art truck which has, as he describes in his own words, ‘all the bells and whistles!’: “I get giddy talking about my new truck! I’ve had it for 4 years now and even at my age I invested £82k in it. I was even able to use Snap-on’s in house bank to finance it. I was confident that there would be no issue paying it back with what I can earn.”

Snap-on are one of the only franchisors in the UK able to offer both prospects and franchisees a funding option that doesn’t involve the banks. Fully accredited and government approved, ‘Snap-on Finance’ is Snap-on’s in-house bank. Through this dedicated finance house, Snap-on are able to offer business loans to successful candidates in order to fund the purchase of the franchise and to existing franchisees just like Phil for things like his dream truck!

“I had the opportunity of going through Mercedes directly for finance but I felt there would be no flexibility. It’s just a black and white finance agreement. With Snap-on you’re very much part of a family and I felt much more comfortable. You never know what life will throw at you and God forbid I was taken ill or broke a leg or something and was out of the business for a while, I know they’d look after me and do what they could.”

Back in 1968, growing up in Bradford, Philip felt destined to follow in the footsteps of this father and brothers and take a job in one of the many wool mills that dominated the city at the time. However, when he left school he made the unexpected decision to dive headfirst into the motor industry instead!

“I didn’t know anything about cars, absolutely nothing! I think I must have been rebelling and being a car mechanic was as good as anything. I just didn’t want to go into the mills. I wasn’t academically inclined at all so a hands-on job was just what I needed. I was good with my hands and very practical. As it happens it was a good decision!”

After spending 5-6 years training on the job at various smaller companies, Philip took a job as a mechanic in the transport department of Yorkshire Electricity. Hardworking and ambitious, he spent 18 years working his way up through the company to the role Foreman, with responsibility for West Yorkshire, Humber and Wolds. Disaster struck when Yorkshire Electricity was sold into private hands, sites began to close and jobs were lost. Phil’s role wasn’t spared in the cull and he was forced to take redundancy. Luckily, Philip was no stranger to the Snap-on opportunity as he had spent years looking forward to the regular visits from his local franchisee! With a lump-sum in his pocket, he wasted no time in starting his new venture.

“I was really happy at the time, I loved my job. Of course, it was stressful looking after 6 garages and the 20 or so men that went with it. But I saw myself there for good really. That word redundancy… it’s enough to send a shiver down anyone’s spine but as soon as it happened, I knew exactly what I was going to do! I had gotten to know the franchisee who visited us quite well and his area manager was often with him on the truck so as soon as I knew what was happening I told them I wanted to join. As luck would have it, the franchisee for my area was retiring so it was just perfect timing. I took it as a sign, it was just meant to be!”

Snap-on is the world’s number one professional tool brand. They are the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for the professional technician. Franchisees deliver gold-standard, premium products to technicians up and down the country. Snap-on’s fantastic business opportunity offers you the chance to be your own boss whilst being supported by an elite team of industry specialists.

Founded in 1920, the business model has been refined for over 95 years. Snap-on are now one of the most respected franchise systems in the world. Being crowned a ‘Five-star Franchise’ in the annual Smith & Henderson ‘Franchise Satisfaction Benchmark’ in 2015 and winning numerous coveted industry awards such as bfa Franchisor and Franchisee of the Year is testament to their popularity and proven success. Snap-on have been trading in the UK since 1965 and now have over 430 franchisees based in the UK and Ireland.

 “I’m rather embarrassed to say that when I joined, I didn’t know too much about the company. I just didn’t realise how big it was. For me, the most important thing that I did know was that from the dealings I’d had with the franchisee who visited me and his area manager, I trusted them. I had done business with them for so long and I genuinely liked them. Having been a customer I knew with absolute certainty that these are the must have tools for technicians. The name Snap-on sells itself; it did then and it still does now.”

With his finances in place, Phil went full steam ahead on his new venture. He signed his franchise agreement in record time and spent a matter of weeks eagerly awaiting his training course in order to hit the road.

“It’s a long time ago but I can still remember the training being brilliant. We did a week at head office which at that time was in Wetherby. It was jam-packed with sessions on product knowledge, sales, and admin: basically everything about how to run your business. Then we had a week out and about with the field manager on the truck with me taking me through everything step by step. I know that the training now is just out of this world, all the new guys say it couldn’t be better!”

Phil isn’t wrong! Snap-on’s outstanding training and support programme is designed to launch and grow your business quickly and with maximum impact. Today’s training starts with a week in Dallas in the US followed by a full week of on-van support in your territory. New franchisees are assigned a dedicated franchise developer for the first 12 months who spends an additional 12 days on the road with you within your first four weeks.

“After that first week of training you collected your truck, well… I’ll never forget that swell of pride I got when I saw my truck for the first time. I was so proud! And do you know, I still feel exactly the same now. I had it washed the other day and as I was walking back towards it standing there in the sun just gleaming, I had that same swell of pride!”

Everyone has a different goal and a different reason for joining Snap-on. Some want to build a business to sell on, some want a pension pot and others even want a legacy to hand down to their children. Phil, like many others, wanted to provide a good life for his wife and children, and to do so doing something that he loved. He’s in the enviable position of having achieved both.

“When I first joined, I had a wife and two young children to support. I never had any problems doing that and we were happy and comfortable. Now, we’re mortgage free and my boys are 34 and 36 so they’re getting on with their own lives and their own families. My wife and I get to travel, take fantastic holidays and spend the money the business makes on ourselves. Yes it’s a luxury but why not, we’ve earned it!

 When I get asked about the future I just know that I want to run this business for as long as I can. I love it so much. The thought of not doing it anymore is enough to reduce me to tears! I’m 62 now and I plan to stick with it for another 5-7 years at least. Then I’ll put the feelers out and look to recruit my own replacement to sell to. Snap-on are great at helping you with planning for stuff like that too.”

The best thing about owning a Snap-on franchise? You’d better ask Phil: “The best thing about owning my business is the pride of working with Snap-on and the prestige of it. You’re instantly recognisable. My customers are loyal and respect me, they’ve always happy to see me. It’s no exaggeration to say that they customers become your friends and like your family. I see their kids grow up, get invited here there and everywhere. Where else can you get that and make a great living?”

James Rygor

After almost ten years as an employed mechanic, James Rygor decided it was time that his hard work started to benefit him and not someone else.

Taking the plunge into business ownership can be a daunting prospect but having witnessed the success of his local Snap-on franchisee, James was certain he could not only replicate that success but surpass it too. After just one year in business, James ranks 4th in the country for sales, averaging over £11k per week. And he has no plans to slow down any time soon!

After graduating Sixth Form College, James qualified as a mechanic and went straight into full-time employment. Like so many others, after nine long years in the same role, James grew weary of working with what he felt were limited career prospects.

“I was tired of lining someone else’s pocket to be honest. I was working hard and never seeing the benefits. Even with side jobs at the evenings and weekends, I still wasn’t what you would call well off and I just knew that I could achieve more for myself. Once you start thinking about being your own boss, it’s hard to accept staying in a job. I wanted to work for myself, set my own goals and make things happen. That’s when I looked at Snap-on seriously.”

Snap-on is the world’s number one professional tool brand. They are the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for the professional technician. Franchisees deliver gold-standard, premium products to technicians up and down the country. Snap-on’s fantastic business opportunity offers you the chance to be your own boss whilst being supported by an elite team of industry specialists.

James considered going it alone but it didn’t take him long to realise that he’d need a significant amount of funding, skillsets and support to make it on his own. But with a franchise, you get all that and more. And, after chatting to his local Snap-on franchisee, James was convinced this was his ideal route to business ownership. He began his research in March 2015 by and by October, he was out on the road as a fully- fledged franchisee!

Snap-on are one of the only franchisors in the UK able to help their franchisees to fund the purchase of the business. We do this through our in-house bank, Snap-on Finance. This fully regulated finance house eliminates the need for the High Street banks and after all, who better to invest in your franchise with you than your franchisor?

“Snap-on lent me the money for the business. When I started I had two loans to about £70k and I could have easily paid them off by now if I wanted to but for me it works best to pay them off regularly. It’s so easy to see where you are for cash-flow and it keeps things really comfortable for me. If I expand I’ll go through Snap-on finance again for sure.”

With his finance firmly in place, James was raring to go! Like all new recruits, he joined Snap-on’s outstanding training and support programme. Designed to launch and grow your business quickly and with maximum impact.

 “The Dallas training was a full six days of classroom-style learning. We covered sales techniques, some basic product knowledge for our immediate launch and then general business how-to. It was about learning to wear a lot of hats because to my business, I’m everything really:  finance, sales, stock-control – so you have to be comfortable with it all and training was a great start!”

Training starts with a week in Dallas in the US followed by a full week of on-van support in your territory. New franchisees are assigned a dedicated franchise developer for the first 12 months who spends an additional 12 days on the road with you within your first four weeks.

 “After my training, I had someone with me every day for a month. He was literally with me on my van and I shadowed him for the first week or so and then we reversed it. He was very good and that was a great way to learn the role. 

At the beginning it’s a bit daunting but it’s bound to be isn’t it? There are so many part numbers and you have to figure it out but as with anything, you get used to it and pick things up as you go along. Grahame, my Development Manager, was great, even as he started to reduce his time with me, it was very structured. So, he’d be with me for three days a week, then two, then one and then I was off on my own. I think the main thing though is that even after that, I could ring him any day, any time and he’d get any problems resolved and help me however he could.”

“That’s a massive positive with our franchise. Even though it’s my business and my money at the end of the day, if something needs to be sorted out, Snap-on are really good at helping you.”

You’d be forgiven for thinking that launching a hugely popular and successful business would be enough excitement for most people – and you’d be right. But not James… In addition to his professional dreams, he’s been achieving some personal ones too having welcomed his daughter into the world just one year ago and marrying the love of his life!

“Snap-on has had a positive impact on my family life for sure. If I was still a mechanic working Monday-Friday, 9-5, doing a bit of cash work on Saturdays and in the evenings, I’d maybe earn about £26k a year. That would mean my wife would have had to go back to work, without a doubt. But now, she helps out with some admin things for me and the business can pay her a wage so she doesn’t have to go to work. Thanks to my business, we’re financially better off, my wife won’t have to go back to work and money isn’t an issue. I’m still so passionate about my business so I don’t really like having days off but the point is, I could if I wanted to and I know I’ll have the flexibility in the future as my family grows.”

At 28, James may seem like a young business owner but in the Snap-on network, being in business by 30 is proving to be a popular and hugely successful theme. With the drive and ambition to build a future for his family and expand his business, James and his fellow young entrepreneurs are taking the UK by storm!

“When it comes to the future, I want to expand into a second territory… or two! I eventually see myself running a number of franchises and having more of a business development role, managing a team of employees who are out on the vans doing the rounds each day.”

For anyone hoping to replicate his success, James has a few words of wisdom: “Be prepared to work hard! They are long hours and it’s hard work but it’s worth it. If you want the business to work for you then you have to commit to it - it’s just common sense. I have to say though, the potential to earn money is unbelievable. I couldn’t get a job earning this much money.”

And the best thing about being a franchisee? You’d have to ask James: “There are so many positives that go along with the franchise that you don’t get if you’re working for someone else. The products for a start, the support, the knowledge and being part of a network that support you. On a day-to-day basis, you meet so many different types of people - you can have a laugh and genuinely enjoy the work. I think that’s pretty special.”

David Hogg

Former soldier, David Hogg, had always wanted to be his own boss. After leaving the army to start a family, his natural ambition and drive to succeed led him on to a career in banking. When redundancy struck, David found himself at a crossroads: look for work or pursue his dream of business ownership? A chance conversation with a family friend introduced him to Snap-on and the rest, as they say, is history! David launched his franchise in May 2015 and hasn’t looked back since.

“I’ve always wanted two things; my own family and my own business. I’m incredibly proud that I’ve achieved both by the age of 32! My business is allowing me to build a future for my family whilst enjoying the sense of freedom and pride that comes with being your own boss. It’s win-win.”

Like so many young men and women, David left school with a handful of qualifications. Feeling like his options were limited, he joined the army just a few months later. As a member of the Royal Military Police, David worked tirelessly and was promoted to Corporal at the tender age of just twenty years old. Four years later, after a particularly difficult six-months in Afghanistan, David decided that the time was right to move on to pastures new.

“I’d just done six months in Helmand Province with the Paras. It was really tough. It brought home to me that I wanted to spend time with my family and have a family of my own. Once I’d decided to leave, I wanted to do it straight away because I wanted to get out while I was young enough to start a new career.”

That new career turned out to be banking! Much like his army days, this role involved a lot of training; only this time it was of the financial kind! David qualified as a Life and Illness Cover Advisor but five years later, out of the blue, disaster struck and he was made redundant.

Not one to dwell on his misfortune, David didn’t waste any time in searching for the next opportunity. With a little redundancy money behind him, he decided that this could be the perfect time to look at finally starting a business of his own. He briefly considered a career as a self-employed mortgage advisor but a chance conversation with a family friend set David on the road to becoming a Snap-on franchisee.

“One of my good friend’s dad is a Sales Developer for Snap-on. We got talking after my redundancy and he suggested I take a look at the franchise. I didn’t really know much about franchising until I talked to him, but the more I found out about the model and the support structure, the more I was sure it was the way to go rather than starting a business from scratch.”

Snap-on is the world’s number one professional tool brand. We are the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for the professional technician. Our franchisees deliver gold-standard, premium products to technicians up and down the country. Our fantastic business opportunity offers you the chance to be your own boss whilst being supported by our elite team of industry specialists.

Initially, David was concerned that his lack of experience in the tool trade may affect his ability to run a successful franchise but researching our training programme put his mind at rest: “The more I looked at the training programme, the more I realised that knowledge of tools wasn’t crucial. Snap-on train you on all the products and provide the marketing materials. They’ve already identified your customer-base before you start so all Snap-on were asking for was an enthusiastic, hard-working, people person- I was confident I could deliver all three!”

To be certain that owning a franchise with Snap-on is right for new prospects, all potential franchisees get to go out on van rides with existing business owners. It was on these van rides that David began to see how friendly and supportive the Snap-on team were, and the camaraderie with customers reminded him of the friendships he’d had in the army. Confident and excited to start his own Snap-on journey, David signed his all-important franchise agreement and prepared for his training.

Snap-on training starts with a week in Dallas in the US. Afterwards, new recruits are welcomed into the Snap-on family at our UK head office in Kettering. Here, new franchisees meet the staff who will support them on a daily basis and collect their very own custom-built mobile store! Training continues with a full week of on-van support out in the field. New franchisees are assigned to a dedicated franchise developer for the first 12 months who spends an additional 12 days on the road with them offering one-to-one support within the first four weeks.

 “The training was hard-but I really enjoyed it. As someone who had come from a fairly regimented, and sometimes high pressured learning environment, I responded well to the style of training at Snap-on. It was very relevant to the job I would be doing, and it set the standard for the level of customer service I wanted to offer my customers. We learnt about the tools, how to sell, features and benefits, systems, finance options, and IT. I learn quite quickly and I’ve done sales before so I definitely picked it up well.”

Now running a thriving Snap-on franchise, David feels the support and ongoing training offered by Snap-on Head Office is a real key to the success of his business, “It’s really reassuring knowing that there is such a wealth of support available to you, all of the time. I’ve become fairly self-sufficient over the years, so I don’t rely on the support team as much as I used to, but there’s always someone on the other end of the phone if I need it.”

At Snap-on we understand that we’re only ever going to be successful if our franchisees are! That’s why we continue to invest millions in a global support programme that already boasts a staff ratio of 2:1 for every franchisee. From sales and marketing to product and technical knowledge; this programme is designed to help every franchisee build a profitable business.

David can now safely say he has the financial stability he always wanted and supporting his young family is his priority. He takes great care to make sure he doesn’t take his success for granted, and he now rewards himself with financial incentives to help profits continue to grow.

“On top of my weekly income, I bonus myself now, so if I do over £6k paid sales a week I pay myself a bonus. I’m building a future for my family, and working hard means I’m can afford to enjoy life without worrying about bills.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, David’s plans for the future include employing an assistant and even expanding into a second territory: “It’s been hard work, and I have to put in long hours to ensure the business is growing but with my background in the armed forces, running my own franchise suits my work ethic down to the ground. You can’t expect results without hard work, and my business is doing well because of the effort I put in every day.”

Although his business keeps him very busy, David still finds the time to spend with his wife, Michaela, whom he met the day after he left the army. They recently had a baby girl, and so he now has the family he always wanted. David enjoys socialising with his friends (although he admits this happens a lot less now the little one is here!) and indulging in his passion for fitness.

Leaving the army with little-to-no idea of which direction his life was heading in was a frustrating time for David, and he wishes he’d found Snap-on sooner. In fact, the Snap-on business model has worked so well for David, he’s keen to share the story of his success with others, who may find themselves in a similar situation upon leaving the armed services.

 “A successful Snap-on franchisee needs to have drive, ambition, people skills and an appreciation for the level of camaraderie in the industry – it suited me to the ground. Provided you are prepared to work hard and remain focussed on your goals, there is no reason why you won’t succeed with Snap-on and believe me, the potential for earnings is huge!”

Ben Baker

“By far, the best thing about being a Snap-on franchisee is getting the best of both worlds. You’re a business owner, so you can work to your own schedule but you’ve also got the support if you need it. I really appreciate being part of something bigger and being able to provide for my wife and our two daughters.  Joining the Snap-on network just made sense for me and my family.”

31-year-old Ben Baker always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps as a self-employed business owner. For over 15 years, he watched as his dad, whilst working incredibly hard, was able to pick and choose his hours and control his own future – which now includes being semi-retired to a dream home in France. Influenced by his dad’s success and encouraged to build a business of his own, Ben opted to become a franchisee with Snap-on; and he hasn’t looked back since.

“Before joining Snap-on, I’d always been in the mechanics trade, in one way or another. Straight out of school, I did an apprenticeship in a vehicle body repair shop then spent eight years as a panel beater. I enjoyed the work but I never felt particularly challenged – even when I took on a role as Deputy Manager in a body shop. Seeing how successful my dad was always made me want to do something for myself, I just didn’t know what or how I could do it to be honest.

Through my years in the trade, I’d always been aware of Snap-on, I knew the brand and I loved the brand. But as a customer and not as anything else. One day, I got speaking to the local Snap-on man about franchising opportunities and he couldn’t recommend Snap-on enough – so I decided to look into becoming a franchisee.”

Snap-on is the world’s number one professional tool brand. They are the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for the professional technician. Franchisees deliver gold-standard, premium products to technicians up and down the country. Their fantastic business opportunity offers you the chance to be your own boss whilst being supported by an elite team of industry specialists.

After that initial conversation with his local franchisee, Ben contacted Snap-on and started his journey of discovery! Snap-on pride themselves on being open and transparent so learning about the franchise opportunity doesn’t just involve researching online and talking to the head office team. Just like all prospective franchisees, Ben went on three all-day van rides with existing franchisees to experience exactly what being a franchisee is really like!

Confident that he was making the right decision, the next thing on Ben’s list was to explore finance options. Snap-on are one of the only franchisors in the UK able to help our franchisees to fund the purchase of the business. They do this through their in-house bank, Snap-on Finance. This fully regulated finance house eliminates the need for the High-Street banks. And after all, who better to invest in your franchise with you than your franchisor?

“I knew the investment was well worth it – I didn’t feel like I was taking a risk at all. I was invested in the business model and I’d paid Snap-on back in less than a year. I wasn’t shocked that I managed to pay them back so quickly. You’re given all the tools to succeed. Snap-on teach you everything.”

Training starts with a trip to Snap-on’s UK head office in Kettering. New franchisees meet the staff who will support them on a daily basis and collect their very own custom-built mobile store as they are welcomed into the Snap-on family! Afterwards, new recruits jet off for a week of classroom-style training in Dallas in the US. Once back home, training continues with a full week of on-van support out in the field. New franchisees are paired with a dedicated franchise developer for the first 12 months who spends another 12 days on the road offering one-to-one support within the first five weeks.

“I got so much out of the training – to say I enjoyed it would be an understatement! It was out of this world. The training team were so passionate, it was hard not to feel excited. Snap-on are genuinely so enthusiastic about the training and the way it was delivered meant I took it all in without feeling pressured in any way. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to learn, but it’s an enjoyable experience.”

Back in the UK and ready to hit the ground running, Ben quickly built great relationships with regular customers in his territory of Spalding and Wisbech, Lincolnshire. Despite only joining the network a little over two years ago in 2015, Ben’s hard work and passion for his business have seen him excel! Within his first year as a franchisee, his phenomenal product sales saw him finish in the top 40 in the UK and in the top 100 worldwide.

“The benefits of being a Snap-on franchisee are endless. Provided you’re prepared to work hard then you’re in a position to earn good money and, potentially, you’ve got a role for life. Eventually, I’m hoping to go into management with Snap-on. I’m keen to explore other parts of the business and step into different roles for the company. The sky’s the limit! I’ve been in management before and, although I enjoy spending time on the road, with customers, I miss the responsibility of developing a team. I see myself going far with Snap-on.”

When Ben isn’t on the road, he’s home with his family. Married to high school sweetheart, Victoria, the couple now have two young daughters. Being a dad to a four-year-old and a one-year-old keeps Ben very busy but there’s one hobby he always finds time for – watching the Formula 1!

“I’m really into my motorsport – I watch that as much as I can. Spending time with my girls is the aim of the game though. I work hard all week so that I can prioritise them as much as possible in my down time. As a franchisee, I fit my weekly routine around my family. Family always comes first and Snap-on allows me to prioritise them.”

Ben is so passionate about staying with Snap-on, that he can’t help but sing Snap-on’s praises – to anyone that will listen!

“For anyone thinking of becoming a Snap-on franchisee, I say ‘just go for it!’ My only regret is not having done it sooner. It has to be right for you and you have to be right for Snap-on but provided you’re a hard worker, a people person and are passionate about what you do, you’ll be a success. It’s going to be someone – it may as well be you!”

Alex Hunter

28 year old Alex Hunter has been running his Snap-on franchise in County Antrim, Northern Ireland since April 2013. In his first four years of business, he’s expanded into a second territory, is running multiple vans and has even employed his dad! With a growing empire under his belt, family man Alex says he’s pleased and proud to be part of the Snap-on network. He even looks forward to a Monday morning!

“The best thing about being a Snap-on franchisee is the freedom I can afford to give myself. I work hard Monday to Friday but once those weekends roll around, that’s time set aside for my wife and son. So many guys, like me, trained in a hands-on role at college and have ended up working evenings and weekends just to pay the bills. With Snap-on, I can pick and choose my own hours.”

A 9-5 desk job was never part of the plan for Alex. Keen on the outdoors for as long as he can remember, he left school aged 16 and went straight on to Agricultural College. It was there that he studied to become a Land Based Service Engineer, a vocation which involved working with plant and farm machinery. Unfortunately, full time work in this field wasn’t widely available and so Alex began working in a motorbike shop. All in all, Alex spent six years there but living hand-to-mouth on his monthly income saw him questioning his motives.

“I really enjoyed working in the motorbike shop – the training I was given was amazing and I loved the work. I’d always wanted to be my own boss and be in control of my own earnings, so I considered opening my own motorbike shop. Unfortunately, the weather in Ireland is so unpredictable that I just didn’t think it would be viable. The local Snap-on franchisee had been coming to the shop for years, so I had a chat with him about franchising opportunities. This got the ball rolling and within a few weeks, I’d applied for finance with Snap-on and I was enrolled on training.”

Snap-on are one of the only franchisors in the UK able to help our franchisees to fund the purchase of the business. We do this through our in-house bank, Snap-on Finance. This fully regulated finance house eliminates the need for the High Street banks and after all, who better to invest in your franchise with you than your franchisor?

Snap-on training starts with a week in Dallas in the US. Afterwards, new recruits are welcomed into the Snap-on family at the UK head office in Kettering. Here, new franchisees meet the staff who will support them on a daily basis and collect their very own custom-built mobile store! Training continues with a full week of on-van support out in the field. New franchisees are paired with a dedicated franchise developer for the first 12 months who spends another 12 days on the road offering one-to-one support within the first five weeks.

“The training was great but it was very intense. I had been so sure in my decision to join Snap-on but at first the training made me question whether I could do it. I worked hard to take everything on board but you’re given so much information that I kept panicking I’d never remember it all! Incredibly, when I came back to the UK and started putting everything I’d learnt into practise, it all came flooding back. It’s almost like you’re able to do the job before you thought you could!”

Before long, Alex had put his new skills to good use and built up a faithful customer base. In fact, he did so well that he quickly paid back the £20k loan he had taken out to start his franchise, giving him the financial freedom to buy into another territory in 2015.

“As soon as I had paid off my original loan, I went straight back to Snap-on Finance for another one to expand the business! I then employed my dad as an assistant to work for me on the second van for around a year – that was a interesting flip in the father/son relationship! You have to be a real people person to work with Snap-on, something which suits me down to the ground - I really enjoy chatting with my customers every day.

To be successful with Snap-on, you need to be prepared to work hard. Building friendships with my regulars is a great benefit to my own sense of enjoyment and satisfaction but there’s a lot of hard work going on behind closed doors to keep the money coming in.”

Snap-on is the world’s number one professional tool brand. We are the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for the professional technician. Franchisees deliver gold-standard, premium products to technicians up and down the country. Our fantastic business opportunity offers you the chance to be your own boss whilst being supported by an elite team of industry specialists.

Alex has had one or two personal hurdles to overcome but now, with a small Snap-on empire of his own and even more expansion on the horizon, he’s proud of the future he has built for his wife and young son.

“I’ve ordered a new van which will be arriving in October, I can’t wait for it to arrive! I’m actually blind in one eye so I’ve hired another new assistant to drive the van and help take some of the day-to-day tasks off me. I’m looking forward to seeing how his role will allow me to focus on developing the business further. I’ve done well for myself and set up a business that will continue to provide a comfortable income for as long as I want it to.

I sometimes forget how much I’ve achieved in just a few years. Setting my own targets and meeting them is satisfying and rewarding in many ways. I love my work, look forward to Monday morning and can prioritise my family to make sure nothing gets in the way of our time together. How many people can say that?”

Guy Baldwin-Brown

“For me, the best thing about being a Snap-on franchisee is being responsible for your own success. The feeling of pride I get from running my franchise tops anything I’ve felt before in my working life. Me and my family are reaping the rewards of close to ten years of hard work and dedication to my customers. I’m proof that you don’t need experience in mechanics or the tool trade to be successful with Snap-on!”

40-year-old Guy Baldwin-Brown, proud husband and father of two, launched his first Snap-on franchise in Ellesmere Port in 2009. A challenging career in the fire service and a once in a lifetime trip around the world saw him questioning the decisions he had made throughout his career in Public Services.

“Growing up, I wanted to be a PE teacher. I studied hard, got a place at Brighton University and landed a good job. It all worked out really well but 12 months in, I realised it just wasn’t for me. Still keen to help others, I retrained and worked as a firefighter for around eight and a half years,”

Ultimately, Guy found the same problem in the Public Service sector as he had in his teaching role – a lot of red tape and limitations that he felt stood between him and his career prospects. Feeling the need to make a positive change in their lives, Guy and his wife took a year out to travel the world Their travels included South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Canada. It was during the last few weeks of the trip that Guy began weighing up his options and evaluating his priorities.

“Having spent a year living life by my own schedule, I couldn’t bear the thought of going back home and working for someone else. Whatever I went into, I was determined to be self-employed. But because I had no trade skills or vocational training, I had no clue what to do and living off an apprentice’s income did not appeal to me.

I had a mate who had been successful as a Snap-on franchisee so I gave him a call and picked his brains. He sold it to me in the simplest way possible – Snap-on offers an opportunity to be your own boss, meet new people, whilst selling the most well-known tools in the industry. You didn’t even need experience with the tools – Snap-on teach you all that. We hadn’t even got to the end of our conversation before I decided it was high time that I made a call to the Snap-on team!”

Snap-on is the world’s number one professional tool brand. They are the leading global manufacturer and distributor of tools for the professional technician. Franchisees deliver gold-standard, premium products to technicians up and down the country. Their fantastic business opportunity offers you the chance to be your own boss whilst being supported by an elite team of industry specialists.

After months of research and an in-depth application process, Guy felt confident that investing savings to fund the purchase of his business would be not only sensible but profitable in the long-run. For anyone choosing to join the network today, Snap-on go above and beyond to help with start-up costs and offer a one-of-a-kind ‘help to buy’ scheme through their in-house bank, Snap-on Finance. This fully regulated finance house eliminates the need for the High-Street banks, offering business loans to successful candidates. And after all, who better to invest in your franchise with you than your franchisor?

“I knew I could make a success of my franchise and Snap-on made it clear that I would be given all of the tools – pardon the pun – I would need to succeed. They weren’t wrong. The training was great – especially for a complete tool novice like me! I went in there thinking that my lack of industry knowledge would be a real setback but Snap-on teach you everything you need to know. What I did have – and still have to this day! – is a real dedication to my customers and their experience of the Snap-on brand. The rest comes over time, but to be successful with Snap-on, you need to be a real people person. That’s a lot harder to pick up on the job!”

Almost ten years on from the initial launch of his Ellesmere Port franchise and Guy has enjoyed more than just a little success. In 2015, using his profits, Guy invested in a second territory and employed a team of assistants to help run his thriving business. In 2017, Guy was ranked as 12th out of 430 franchisees in the UK and Ireland – an accolade he is proud to celebrate with his peers!

“It’s great to finally feel valued and celebrated by the Snap-on network. I’m recognised more as a business owner than I ever was when I had been working for someone else! Had I been still working as a firefighter, I couldn’t have afforded the comfortable life I can give my wife and our two little girls. I work hard but, when it gets to a Friday night and the vans are locked away for the weekend, I can enjoy guilt-free family time.

I’ve enjoyed so much success over the years and have found something I love doing.  At the end of the day, that’s what Snap-on is all about – it’s about being dedicated to the network, your team and your customers and enjoying yourself! Working with Snap-on has given me the opportunity to be part of something bigger – a vast network of like-minded business owners and, if I had the choice to do this all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat.”

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Snap-on reflects on recent success and welcomes 12 new recruits
7 January 2020
Snap-on wins not one but two Queen’s Awards for innovative solution
4 November 2019
Snap-on wins not one but two Queen’s Awards for innovative solution
4 November 2019

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